How I’m Learning to Say Yes to the Mess as a Mom

January 17, 2018
yes to mess

I took this photo one recent morning while my toddler painted.

yes to mess

Notice the garbage bag I grabbed in a pinch to spare the coffee table from any unruly paint splatter.

I hadn’t even started breakfast yet when the little guy eagerly asked if he could start painting.

To be honest, I would rather he engage in a less messy activity so early in the day, but nevertheless, I helpfully brought out his paints and brushes, along with the handy dandy garbage bag.

I tore a fresh page from his Finding Dory activity book, and watched him immediately get to work, casting broad strokes of blue and green across the page.

When he was finished, he proudly showed me his masterpiece as he always does when he finishes a project.

I placed his artwork on the counter to dry and told him how much I loved it.

And I did. And I was proud of his effort and his enthusiasm, but I was also a little proud of myself.

Remembering to say “yes” as a parent can be difficult.

say yes to mess

I’m not talking about saying yes to the things that warrant a firm “no,” but rather saying yes to the things we generally have no reason to say no to.

For me, the urge to say no usually arises when the activity in question carries the risk of a mess. You know the ones: painting, coloring–basically anything involving arts and crafts.

Plus, there are the kitchen messes, and the laundry messes, and every other mess that results when the little ones want to help with a task.

I’m a bit of a neat freak, so teaching myself to get beyond my fear of the mess has required effort, patience, and even a bit of personal growth.

Sure, there are some times we just don’t have time to break out the painting supplies or to make dinner together, but I’m learning to discern when an activity warrants a no for practical reasons and when I’m tempted to say no out of sheer preference.

Is it always easy? No.

But, it’s becoming easier as I remind myself more and more that my son will grow more from my yeses than my nos–and that I will too.

Are you learning to say yes to something as a mom? Share in the comments or on social media!

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